Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Vettel “not happy” with Russian Grand Prix performance

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel say he isn’t happy with his Russian Grand Prix performance after finishing a lapped 13th for Ferrari.

What they say

Vettel was asked whether he felt much benefit from Ferrari’s update at the Russian Grand Prix:

Well, I mean, obviously my race was a bit compromised. I’m not happy with today’s performance. So maybe I’m not the best to judge in the race.

On Friday I think the parts were doing what we expected. It’s a very small step, not a huge one in performance, but we knew that going in. So, yes, for sure it doesn’t hurt and hopefully we can confirm in the next races that the pace is a little bit better too.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Carlos Sainz Jnr’s complaint about Sochi’s turn two is justified, says @EuroBrun:

If he’d slowed down more for the chicane, he’d probably have ended up with someone hitting him up the backside.

I’ve always thought that the chicane was tight, but today just goes to show how badly designed it is:

  • Completely miss the corner like Verstappen, and you can line it up nicely for a clean run through the chicane.
  • Slightly misjudge the corner whole attempting to take it like Saniz and you are massively disadvantaged by trying to negate the chicane.
  • Get squeezed out whilst battling fairly like Grosjean and you get the double whammy of losing out in the racing, then taking (or at least trying to take) the penalty at the tighter angle.

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some sort of penalty or disadvantage to running wide, but just that it should be better managed than it is.

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On this day in F1

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Vettel “not happy” with Russian Grand Prix performance”

  1. The chicane is one thing but wall forming one side of the run off funnel – that Sainz clipped – is just not right. Sochi isn’t really a street circuit, shift it out a few metres.

    1. Strip of gravel… surely problem solved?

      1. Grass would do the trick as well.

    2. @didaho It indeed isn’t as the track isn’t used by regular traffic for the rest of the year, so a permanent circuit that is rarely used for track action outside the annual GP weekend.

  2. It was Sainz’s mistake he needed to slow down more. Need to punish people for missing the corner otherwise there’s no incentive to keep the car on the circuit.

    1. Well yes it was his mistake to make sure, but it should not then be endangering him and others more than unsafely rejoining the track would, as it certainly did. The left side of the funnel being a wall isn’t ideal, also given the proximity to the track making debris from a hit a real issue,as we saw. Also in case of Grosjean being pushed off late in the corner and not being able to avoid hitting the foam which required a VC, not great.

      In addition, you mention punishment, did you miss (the COTD mention of) Verstappen hardly being punished for missing the corner by, expertly, flashing straight through in the right angle?

      1. Correct, I was really afraid Sainz was collected by other Cars when he bounched to the racing line.

  3. Just saw Vettel’s lap charts. He was clearly given an inferior strategy. His direct competitors – Giovanaazi and Magnussen pitted laps 16 and 19 but Vettel was made to stay out till lap 30 in order to slow down Leclerc’s direct competitors – Ocon, Ricciardo. Which he did very well and Leclerc did gain one place on Ocon due to that.

    Looks like Ferrari has gotten used to making strategies work in the mid-field now!

    1. Looks like Ferrari has gotten used to making strategies work in the mid-field now

      That’s a major step forward then; their strategies did not work anywhere in the past.

  4. Re-COTD
    Just put gravel there! Problem solved…..

  5. I share the same views as the COTD.

  6. Indeed, Verstappen basically just cut a corner while Sainz should have slowed down a lot to make that gap.

  7. Super COTD! I just saw the race start replays with onboards of Verstappen and Sainz and what both of them did is exactly what the COTD said!

    Verstappen basically decided to forget turn 2 and run through the run-off beforehand. He just had to lift off a bit to ensure he lines himself between the bollard and the wall correctly to avoid contact with either and got a good run back to the circuit.

    Sainz does half of turn 2 and then goes into the run-off, at this point he has to take a slight left to stay on the left of the bollard and then take a right to avoid the wall. From his position, this left-right is now a proper slow and narrow chicane (almost like the Singapore Sling chicane – at the first Singapore grand prix – or Baku turns 8,9,10 part).

    While Sainz was definitely at fault for his own crash, that he was massively disadvantaged before the crash needs to be fixed.

  8. Guenther Steiner: “Romain (Grosjean) was not happy with his car, but I think that was broadcasted very well, so I don’t need to say more on that one.”


    But seriously, Grosjean’s complaining is getting really tiring. There comes a time when I just get fed up with drivers and wish they would retire, especially complainers like Barrichello and Massa, and now I feel it’s Romain’s turn to go. How the team has put up with this for so long in return for average performances is quite something.

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